The Beau-tea of Tea
Known for its health benefits and an integral part of medicine in the East for years, tea is an excellent “superfood” with a myriad of beneficial properties for the human body. Studies have shown that a variety of teas may fight off inflammation, boost immune systems, and lower the risk of developing cancer or heart disease. Adding on top of that, unadulterated tea has zero calories and less caffeine than coffee. As American Dietetic Association Katherine Tallmadge puts it, “there doesn’t seem to be a downside to tea”. Naturally, these magical properties of tea translate over to Twrl Milk Teas, creating products that can not only be consumed guilt-free, but also with multiple healing and restorative properties. Twrl has spent over year and half sourcing the best tasting tea, and found incredible partners from single-origin, fair-trade, organic multi-generational family farms which use sustainable practices that protect biodiversity and soil health and increasing resilience against climate change. Our teas “work harder against other competitive plants and insects growing in the region compared to the “lazy” plants who have pesticides to do the work for them. As a result, our teas have higher antioxidants and better flavor. Twrl Milk Tea has almost 3x higher antioxidants and L-theanine than a regular cup of brewed tea. In this blog post, let’s examine the type of tea used and the corresponding health benefits in each Twrl product.
Original Taiwan-Style Milk Tea
Although milk and tea have been consumed together worldwide for as long as time, the milk tea in Taiwan originated during the Dutch colonization of the island, which introduced the practice of adding milk to tea. Still, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the Taiwan-style milk tea that we’ve come to love was perfected. According to legend, the founder of a tea shop in Taichung began serving milk tea cold sweetened with sugar syrups after observing coffee being served that way in Japan during a trip. Eventually, this way of serving milk tea exploded in popularity, and became the staple within Taiwan.
For this style of tea the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are typically used, and come in two varieties: black and green. For our Twrl Original Taiwan-Style Milk Tea, we use black tea, which is dried and oxidized after harvest, which gives it a darker color and a richer flavor compared to its cousin, green tea. This rich, darker flavor pairs well with the smooth, mild pea milk in Twrl’s Original Taiwan-Style Milk Tea, and even better after the nitro-infusion. The Taiwan-Style Milk Tea takes a centuries-old recipe and elevates it using modern techniques to create the optimal flavor; Joanna Richards from @teabuzztea puts it the best: “it’s like old meets new”. As for health benefits, black tea may boost gut health, reduce the risk of strokes, and provide crucial antioxidants that eliminate free radicals - molecular species that speed up aging within the human body. This aging can create a myriad of negative side effects, including increased risks for diseases all around the body - everything from Alzheimer’s to diabetes. As such, consumption of antioxidants is extremely important in maintaining overall health in all parts of the body, which is something tea excels at. In fact, one study estimates that phenolic compounds, which have an antioxidant effect, make up around 30% of the dry weight of black tea. That’s what makes Twrl’s low sugar, antioxidant rich Original Taiwan-Style Milk Tea a great option to feed your milk tea addiction in a healthy and feel-good way.
Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea
Hojicha - translating directly to “roasted tea” - is a Japanese green tea, usually made out of bancha or kukicha blends. It’s traditionally produced by roasting tea leaves in a porcelain pot over charcoal at around 150℃. This roasting removes the bitterness commonly found when drinking green tea, produces a nutty and mildly-sweet flavor, and dampens the caffeine content which makes it work well as an after-dinner tea, so it’s recommended to enjoy Twrl’s Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea warm and after a hearty meal. Also, Hojicha’s high fiber content helps with digestion and lowers fat absorption, and flavonoids - which appear in Hojicha in high amounts - boost heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Furthermore, the main flavonoid within green tea is actually a class of molecules called catechins, whose antimicrobial properties play an integral role in gut health. Catechins have been shown to reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer. Repeated consumption of catechins also decreases the volume of putrefactive products (less farts!) and increases the amount of healthy organic acids, such as vitamin C and various amino acids, by lowering the pH in the intestines. Beyond promoting a healthy digestive tract, green tea consumption may be correlated with a lower risk of breast cancer. Catechins have been shown to prevent DNA methylation, which is a process that silences tumor suppressing genes when done in the wrong area, thus reducing the risk of tumorigenesis (the formation of tumors). Other than just lowering the risk of cancer, green tea has been shown to reduce the severity of breast cancer after developing the disease. Catechins suppress cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells within the breast, which prevents the growth of the tumor. Green tea is also anti-inflammatory, which keeps your skin clear and glowing. All-in-all, Twrl’s Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea’s multitude of gut health-promoting properties makes it the perfect beverage to drink after or during a meal.
Supreme Jasmine Pu’erh Milk Tea
Consumed in China for over 400 years, Jasmine tea is typically made out of a tea blend scented by the aroma of Jasmine blossoms. Jasmine flowers are picked early in the day when the petals are closed, then layered into the dried tea, and when the flowers bloom at night, the scent of the flower infuses into the tea. Thus, the tea has a subtly sweet yet highly fragrant flavor, which makes Twrl’s Supreme Jasmine Pu’erh Milk Tea have a delicious, floral flavor. However, even more than the flavor, Jasmine tea has been recognized as having medicinal properties for centuries. In fact, in Fuzhou, the world’s premier producer of Jasmine tea, the word for taking medicine is the same as drinking tea. Jasmine tea has the same antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as other teas, but also may reduce the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Jasmine tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which triggers the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that relieves anxiety and improves mood, as well as increasing focus when paired with caffeine. The resulting relaxation from L-theanine creates a chain reaction of health benefits, like lower blood pressure and better sleep quality. Despite the caffeine content in tea, researchers in one study found that doses of 250 mg and 400 mg of L-theanine greatly improved sleep in animals and humans. Furthermore, L-theanine has a savory, umami taste, which may promote weight loss by satiating appetite. Overall, Jasmine tea’s floral flavor and relaxational properties make Twrl’s Supreme Jasmine perfect as a quick pick-me-up after a long day of work.
All-in-all, tea is a delicious drink with a multitude of health benefits and virtually no drawback, with each type of tea having its own distinct properties, with effects ranging from a decreased risk of cancer to an improved nights of sleep. As such, many Twrl drinkers develop a favorite for one tea in particular, based on their health needs and a bias to a certain flavor. Our co-founders Pauline and Olivia love the Original Taiwan-Style and the Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Teas, respectively. Cody from @theoolongdrunk enthusiastically said that “The Supreme Jasmine was my absolute favorite, and this gives me hope that nitro teas will take off! I can’t wait to drink Twrl Milk Tea again”. If you’re not sure which one you’ll like the most, pick up a variety pack of Twrl Milk Tea at one of over 45 locations!